By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com)
Since I’m the resident showbiz historian, trivia expert and movie lover, it would normally fall to me to report on last night’s Oscarcast. But I didn’t watch it. And if I didn’t watch it, I can’t imagine who did.
Oh, I took a stab at it. But I only lasted until the end of the three-way monologue in which Regina Bell, Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer did lines about how sexist and racist Hollywood is (gee, it must be run by Republicans! Oh, wait...) and took a gratuitous swipe at Mitch McConnell (yeah, that’s who Americans are riled up at as they put their mortgage payments into their gas tanks – way to read the audience, ladies.) They ended by taunting viewers in Florida and chanting, “Gay, gay, gay,” proving that they not only didn’t understand what the NOT-“Don’t Say Gay” bill is, they also didn’t care if one of our most populous states immediately tuned out. Heck, I’m in Texas, and that’s the point where I switched to the “Hometown” marathon on HGTV.
By the way, were I writing their material, I wouldn’t be so eager to embrace the sexualizing of young children. Do you really want to remind the audience of what a hotbed of pedophilia Hollywood is? Or make us think about the former king of the Oscars, Harvey Weinstein, who’s currently doing a 23-year prison sentence for rape and facing additional charges? Since the holier-than-thou stars already seem to have forgotten about all that pesky MeToo business, here’s a reminder of it from Kyle Smith in 2018:
I caught up with the rest of the show later through reviews and clips, and it’s obvious that as with most of this year’s movies, I didn’t miss anything worth seeing. The only major nominees I saw were “Lucy and Desi” (I liked them; didn’t like the movie) and “Nightmare Alley,” because my wife Laura is a film noir fan. It was a remake of someone else’s original that was lavishly produced, only gorier, more lurid, not as well written and 40 minutes longer than the original. So pretty much the standard Hollywood product these days. That’s why most of the movies I saw in theaters in the past year were TCM revivals.
There were all the expected genuflections to current liberal political obsessions like trans people; plus the usual dumb production decisions, like replacing the tech awards with an idiotic Twitter poll, having “who the heck is that?” presenters instead of actual movie stars, and showing disrespect for the “In Memoriam” honorees by turning it into a production number. If they were going to set it to music, why not “Take Me When I’m Gone to Forest Lawn”?
But then the whole thing went permanently off the rails when Will Smith reacted to Chris Rock’s joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith by charging out of the audience and slapping Rock while twice yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f---ing mouth!” That was bleeped on American TV, but went out over foreign broadcasts and is all over the Internet.
Instead of being arrested (and where was security, by the way?), Smith went back to his seat and was later rewarded with a Best Actor Oscar. He used his speech to cry, defend the assault as protecting his family, and apologize to the Academy (but not the guy he punched.) Several commentators noted that if it had been anyone else, he would have at least been removed if not arrested (and if he were white, charged with a hate crime), but certainly not rewarded and given an uninterrupted TV platform.
Incidentally, far funnier than Rock’s joke was a CNN commentator’s attempt to blame Smith’s assault on – you guessed it -- Donald Trump.
Now, you might argue that Rock’s joke was tasteless or cruel (and it was), and Smith was being gallant in defending his wife. But it’s hard to claim that this is the most glamorous, sophisticated night of the year when the most memorable moment was a star having a meltdown and assaulting a comedian for telling a joke he didn’t like while shouting the F-word twice. It made a WWE Smackdown look sophisticated. And these people dare lecture the rest of us on how we’re supposed to behave because WE’RE not tolerant enough?
FYI: Please don’t claim that Will Smith is the exception. Here’s a story about Sally “The Flying Nun” Field threatening to physically assault Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott (who’s in a wheelchair, by the way) because she disagrees with their views on unfettered abortion and sexualizing kindergartens.
There’s a famous book called “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” Judging from this year’s Oscars, today’s celebrities act as if they’re still in kindergarten, and the only things they’ve learned there so far are sex lessons and gender politics.